21 Oct 2008

MDC snubs Zimbabwe crisis talks

8:22 am on 21 October 2008

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has shunned regional talks on the country's crisis after its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was denied a passport.

He was instead issued an emergency travel document to go to Swaziland. but party officials called this an "insult".

The summit was called after four days of talks failed to lead to an agreement on how the opposition MDC and Zanu-PF should allocate cabinet jobs.

The talks have now been postponed by a week and moved back to Harare.

Mr Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe agreed to share power on 15 September, after a long stand-off over disputed elections earlier this year.

The MDC has accused Mr Mugabe of trying to grab power by allocating all the key ministerial positions to his Zanu-PF party.

Associated Press reports MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said the difficulties Mr Tsvangirai has had getting travel documents made it clear that Mr Mugabe was not ready to share power.

Mr Tsvangirai has not had a normal passport for several months.

He was reportedly given an emergency document valid only for a single trip to Swaziland. However the only way of getting from Zimbabwe to Swaziland is via South Africa.

Botswana says the only way to break the political deadlock in Zimbabwe may be to hold a re-run of the presidential elections.